DENVER - July 30, 1998 - Qwest today announced, as part of an exclusive, multi-year agreement, that it will provide Cleveland, Ohio-based OfficeMax, Inc. (NYSE: OMX) with prepaid calling cards for the chain?s private label brand, OfficeMax Prepaid Phone Cards.
?Prepaid phone cards are growing in popularity as a convenient way to make and pay for calls,? said John Taylor, senior vice president of Consumer Markets at Qwest. ?We are excited to work with retailers like OfficeMax to make phone cards available to consumers and businesses across the country. This agreement underlines Qwest?s commitment to expanding its distribution channels to reach new customers in efficient and creative ways.?
?By working with Qwest, OfficeMax is able offer a convenient communications solution to its customers,? said Michael Feuer, CEO of OfficeMax. ?OfficeMax Prepaid Phone Cards make it easy for small business owners and home office users to stay in touch while on the go and enjoy exceptional value on local and long-distance voice communications.?
The phone cards hit stores July 26, and are being distributed at all 753 OfficeMax stores nationwide. They will be available in six denominations, ranging from 30 to 1000 minutes. Calls made with the OfficeMax Prepaid Phone Card will be carried over Qwest?s advanced nationwide fiber optic network. Currently, approximately 8,850 miles of Qwest?s planned 18,499-mile fiber optic network are activated, with completion scheduled for mid-1999.
Unlike most competitors? phone cards, the OfficeMax Prepaid Phone Card will debit calls in six-second increments. Qwest is the only major provider of prepaid calling card service that calculates call length in six-second increments, rather than rounding up to the next full minute, after the initial minute of each call. ?Debiting calls in six-second increments yields more calling time - and therefore, more value - per card than rounding calls up to the next full minute,? said Taylor.
According to Taylor, prepaid phone cards are ideal for people who travel, people who want to maintain control of long-distance call usage - such as small business owners or students - or for emergencies. Similar in size and shape to a credit card, prepaid calling cards function essentially like a traditional calling card, except that they are pre-programmed with a fixed number of minutes that can be used to place local, domestic long-distance and international calls from any touch-tone phone, even from abroad.
For more information on Qwest prepaid calling services call 1-800-662-7116.
With 753 full-size superstores in more than 310 markets in 48 states and Puerto Rico, OfficeMax is the largest operator of office products retail stores in the country. The Company also operates CopyMax and FurnitureMax, store-within-a-store modules devoted exclusively to print-for-pay services and office furniture, respectively. In addition, the Company has 17 delivery centers throughout the United States to serve its catalog and direct marketing businesses including OfficeMax OnLine® on the Internet at http://www.officemax.com, enabling individual consumers and businesses to buy a wide assortment of merchandise using personal computers. Through joint venture partnerships, OfficeMax operates stores in Mexico and Japan.
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Qwest with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports on Form 10-Q, which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule, volatility of stock price, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks.
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